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The Monk's Kettle

Not Rated.
The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle

92 Ratings
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 8.82%
Taps: 24
Bottles: 180
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

3141 16th St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3334
United States
phone: (415) 865-9523

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @monkskettle

None, yet.

(Place added by: NikStique on 12-07-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%

Had to kill a some time Friday night while waiting to meet up with friends. Since I was in the area, I strolled into the Monk's Kettle. What an excellent choice that was!

I've gone by this place many times, and it always seems to be packed. Last night was no different. The crowd was decidedly young and, oddly enough, not bogged down with hipsters - yay!

After seating myself in the corner, a server immediately brought me a beer and food menu. The bottle list ran very deep, and the tap selection was loaded with local rarities. All of the food items sounded good, and they came with beer pairing suggestions. I was very impressed. The prices were steep though, and I decided to order a cup of tomato bisque and a Moonlight Sour Mash Lager, partially because they each sounded good, but mainly because they were the cheapest items on the menu.

My server/waiter was right on top of things, and approached me as soon as I looked ready. Immediately after ordering, he asked if I would like to open a tab. I told him that I was only staying for a single round, so he dropped off the check right then and there. While some may view this as rude, I didn't have much time to waste and appreciated the gesture. He immediately fetched my beer, and five minutes later I had my bisque, too. Service was very responsive and speedy.

The food and beer were absolutely delicious (although the soup came out extremely hot, and I burned my tongue on the first sip). I'd love to come back and try more things on their menu (both beer and food). This is one of the most complete beer bars I've ever been too, and possibly my new favorite in San Francisco. I highly recommend this to anyone in the area!

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of ritter57
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%

I get to San Francisco often but I just went to this place for the first time. I will go back as often as I can. The beer selection is perfect. A nice variety, quality choices in each style, and a few lesser know gems. By the name I thought it would be too focused on Belgians but all of craft beer is well represented. The servers know a lot about the beer and made good recommendations. Great food too. The place was a little small but the atmosphere was cool. We arrived around 7:30 and got the last 3 seats available. By the time we left at 9:00 the place was packed and there was a long wait to sit down.

ritter57, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of ericfb18
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

In San Francisco on business...visited twice - 5/15 & 5/16.

Place gets quite busy...but for this beer selection, it's worth it! Beer list is about 4-5 pages long, with solid choices all around. Be ready to pay for it though. I had, over the two nights, an Old Rasputin XII, Cuvee de Tomme, Fou Foune and a Supplication. The beer list on their website seems to be very well maintained so always up-to-date. Prices are listed to give you an idea of what to expect.

Service was good...bartenders could be a little more knowledgeable about what they are selling, but were very attentive. Had an excellent cheese platter, but no entree...menu looked great though.

Highly recommended to anyone in town...well worth the visit.

ericfb18, May 20, 2010
Photo of raoulduke37
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%

This little gem in the Mission is a must-stop for any beer lover, period. A good counterpoint to Toronado on the other side of town, and near many fine food establishments.

Atmosphere - Awesome! Little bar, non-pretentious, the cook grilling away happily, and customers and employees chatting away happily about beer or non-beer related stuff. Right above the bar is a salvaged walk-in fireplace frame, a la Citizen Kane.

Quality - Very beer-centric, clean taplines, everything clean and classy. Huge glassware collection, and our man behind the bar definitely knew how to pour.

Service - Ignore Yelp for this portion. One guy was complaining about the service, but this was the type of dude who wouldn't look out of place on the Jersey Shore. He then proceeded to give a five star rating to his gym, for having a great personal trainer who helped him improve his physique. You get the picture. Our guy, can't remember his name, really knew his beer, corrected me amicably a few times when I was talking to him, poured all beer perfectly into clean, appropriate glasses, was VERY attentive to other customers in the place, etc.

Selection - Not huge, but awesome! On tap I had RR Temptation and Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, bottle list has some gems, but I found them to be too expensive.

Food - Didn't try but looked amazing. In typical SF fashion, it is all local, sustainable, grass-fed, etc. Very environmentally conscious.

Value - On-tap value is very reasonable, and although the bottle selection is great, most were way out of my price range.

All in all, a great place that I'll visit every time I'm in city.

raoulduke37, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of jdense
3.94/5  rDev -10.9%

Visited 4.3.10 early pm during SFO beer tour.

Very small establishment, less than 10 tables and about 12 seats at bar with 6-8 seats on ledge next to open kitchen. 24 taps, very high quality, but prices are quite expensive, $7.75 for Pliny, and $11.25 for Lucifer after paying $8 at Le Trappe the night before. Extensive bottled list, once again very high quality and very very expensive, $12.75 for HOTD Fred and Adam, not much value in the beer offerings. Nice looking Belgian-style menu, once again high priced, but it looked quite tasty. I don't know if they are trying to be like Le Trappe, but the vibe isn't as cool. Really nice help, and I had a nice conversation with a well-traveled Scandinavian gentlemen. If looking for quality beer and above average food, albeit at a very high price, this is someplace to visit, though there isn't much value to this up and coming beer bistro.

jdense, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of cleverbeername
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%

I like the walk in only style. made a door reservation and was quoted an hour, turned out to be half that time (big point for the over estimate). small place with nice decor, not over the top crap on the walls kinda of place but not overtly sterile and artsy. staff was on it, well versed, polite, timely (i did however get upsold from $12 to $35 without the server disclosing the price, but good for him for pulling it off, i respect sales and its my bad for not asking or looking). Food was great, paired nice and was creative. i left happy, not over stuffed full of greasy bar food. price is spot on beer geeks should be weary to label this as too pricey. non business owners need to understand the fine balance of paying good staff for front and back of the house and cover turn ratio, so i think again its spot on. as a last note, this would be hard to pull off out of a larger city.

cleverbeername, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of mjl21
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%

The Monk's Kettle is a nice beer bar/restaurant that is in the heart of the Mission district, which means you can find metered parking during the day and if you're lucky a spot at night. If you can, use public transportation. All of my visits have come during the day time for a quick pint and I have not dealt with the crowds that are common at night.

The space is fairly small. When you walk in the bar is to your right and there are booths lining the other wall. They have a really large beer menu. I counted twenty plus taps and they have a really extensive bottle list. Most draught offerings are real pints and if not, the serving size is posted on the menu. They have a really nice selection of glassware above the bar.

For their draught offerings they do a good job of integrating locals like RR, Marin, Moonlight, and Iron Springs, along with stuff from American breweries like Firestone Walker, Stone, Oskar Blues, and DFH. They also carry a lot of Euro brands. The tap prices are about normal for SF, but a lot more than the Toronado. Expect to pay a tad under $8 for a pint of Pliny the Elder. Not surprisingly the Belgian drafts cost more.

The bottled beers are usually quite expensive. It seems like most are more than double or triple what you would pay at a retail store. $37.50 for an Alesmith Old Numbskull and $65.00 for a 2009 Lost Abbey Angel's Share (the infamous flat one) is price gouging.

I can't speak for the food as I have never eaten here. I have heard they make great mac n cheese and burgers.

The service at the bar has always been polite. They are quick to pour you a drink and seemed to be helpful to customers who had questions.

This is a nice addition to the SF beer scene. I recommend sticking more with their draught beer as the prices are much more reasonable. They also get major points for doing a good job of updating their website with what is on tap. I definitely plan to return to try some food.

mjl21, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of radshoesbro
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%

It's in a fairly unkempt, sort of Street Chic neighborhood. However, don't let the surroundings fool you. This is a top of the line beer bar! They've got some really remarkable beers. They had Old Rasputin XI nearly two years after it's release and Duvel Green. The problem? Their beers are insanely expensive. This is in no way cheap, and not even a little pricey, it's damn expensive ($14 for some 8 oz pours)! Look at some of the bottle prices and you'll see my point. Which makes me think that it clearly is catering to an older crowd.

The establishment itself is very nice. Lot's of wood, with a beautiful bar! Proper glassware is served with all the beers.

The tap list really isn't the best I've seen, but it's good enough that it makes me interested. The bottle selection is really where they shine. I really wish they weren't so expensive, cause some of them are fucking gems! Yes, they have their fair share of very pedestrian beers, which are slightly more reasonably priced. Luckily for me they poured me an 8 oz glass of what was advertised as a 4 oz pour, which was really cool of them!

I had a sausage sandwich, which was quite good. Definitely better than other ones I've had, so that was a plus. My wife described her chicken sandwich as "good in theory." Guess it just didn't deliver the goods! The food is also very pricey and for the price it really doesn't deliver. If my sandwich was $8 instead of $15 I would've been in heaven.

Will I ever go back here? Only if someone else is paying! The prices just kill it and for as good as they are it's just not worth it if you're on any type of budget.

radshoesbro, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%

Let me start by saying that if money is no object, this is an excellent place. The beer selection is great and the food is amazing. You can find great limited beers like The Bruery Papier and Russian River Supplication way after they're gone from all local stores. Unfortunately for most of us who aren't Bill Gates, the Google founders, a big-time professional athlete, or an evil, greedy investment banking executive, money is a thing. Well, that is, until we go to Monk's Kettle. After that, the thing in our wallets that was originally a bunch of money will have completely disappeared.

This place is really, really, ridiculously expensive and marks up beer like most nice restaurants do with wine. I just think that 2.5x or higher wine mark-ups are insane and people are crazy to pay them, and I enjoy the fact that great beer can still be had with a great meal for a reasonable price. Not at Monk's Kettle. You're going to be paying (and I read directly from their beer list) $35 for an AleSmith Speedway Stout (usually $12), $11.25 for a Duvel (usually $3.50), and $28 for a Lost Abbey Judgment Day (usually $10).

However, if you can take the wallet hit and want to impress someone with great food paired with world class beer, this is the place. I had some really excellent food there. There simply aren't many things better than great beer and great food. Last time I went, I had a charcuterie plate, a creamy bowl of tomato soup, and a pulled pork sandwich, along with a La Trappe Isid'Or, a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and an '05 North Coast Old Stock Ale (reasonably priced surprisingly!). All were incredible.

Monk's Kettle can really wow you, but you're going to have to hand over the majority of your paycheck for the pleasure. Oh yeah, and it gets crowded and they don't typically take reservations. Go before 6:30 for a weekend dinner unless you want to wait hours for a table. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading to Monk's Kettle to shell out $85 for a beer dinner. D'oh! *Final note: I should also add Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z to the list of people who don't think money is a thing, since they had a song specifically called, "Money Ain't a Thing."

nickd717, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%

What a find! A fantastic diamond in the rough of the Mission District. 16th just up from Valencia and right across from Amnesia. Boy, can I pick'em.

It was a small space, but well appointed. The dark wood bar was directly inside to the right. The back bar featured a pair of flanking Japanese/Chinese lions elaborately carved into the equally dark wood. The bar lamp fixtures were reminiscent of the pointed straw hats commonly worn in SE Asia. Come to think of it, the booths along the left wall were very evocative of Japan, with the slatted seats and dividers. The kitchen was also right, just aft of the bar and utilized a zigzag pattern that incorporated chalkboards to list available beers, plus requests and quotations. As I entered, our small world grew smaller as Nick from the Chalet greeted me as I headed to the lav. Much better success than what I encountered in MTYCO. Friendly unobtrusive, attentive. The open nature of the kitchen lent itself to the scents of cooking. I twice salivated over whatever was on the grill. Lovely being an unapologetic omnivore. I simply enjoyed letting my eyes slide around the taps and the BT display. These are great times in which we live, bro!

Beer: Twenty-four (24) taps, 14 of which were CA, 5 Belgian, which is simply a quantification. BTs - around 100 different. Impressive!

woodychandler, Nov 27, 2009
The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.